Is Barclays Center Ugly?

Judging the aesthetic merits of the city's newest sports arena.

Designed by Ellerbe Beckett and SHoP Architects, Barclays Center's mirrored glass and aged steel exterior just a stone's throw away from some of the oldest and most historically significant housing stock the city has to offer.

So as the arena begins to take its final shape in the middle of Brownstone Brooklyn, a question:

Is Barclays Center ugly?

Or is it a welcome, intrinsically modern, addition to the landscape of the borough?

Linda March 09, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I like the modern landscape it will become.
Terendis March 09, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Not a fan of Brooklyn getting a sports arena, but as far as sports arenas go, this one is more aesthetically pleasing than most.
Bay Brown March 10, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Like the amorphous shape and the Corten steel panels, but while the reflective glass may have been used as a witty contradiction, it just lays flat. And, putting aside the inherent evilness of the project and just focusing on the building's architecture, my eyes are distracted by the aesthetic and functional clusterfarce across the street, Ratner's initial blight on our community.
sandra March 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Its a like a giant mushroom sqqquueeeeeezed into a tiny block. Way too big for the surrounding buildings. I feel so sorry for the property owners on Dean Street. Its the truest meaning of ridiculous.
D. Cohen March 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM
It is a rusty zit on the face of our community. Looks like a rusty spaceship touched down. It's hideous, and the reflective glass panels at that busy, traffic=filled intersection are instantly dirtied with soot. Awful, awful, awful.
Ellen Silbermann March 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM
This is one of the ugliest, most depressing structures I have ever seen - it will one day reign as the borough's largest disappointment ... Hopefully not a foreshadowing of the Brooklyn Nets
Gregg March 10, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I think it looks like a rusted hulk. As though it is already decades old, instead of brand new and not-yet-opened. A monstrosity foisted on Brooklyn. AJMHO
Candace March 10, 2012 at 02:27 PM
We knew it would be big, but the word that comes to mind every time I see it -- behemoth. It looms directly over and into the streets, and overwhelms the surrounding neighborhood. It is incredibly unattractive, and not surprisingly, nothing that was promised when the project was approved. Not a part of our community at all -- no thought or concern to make it so.
Marc March 10, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Even if the architecture was beautiful, which it isn't, it is ugly in the sense that it is a product of political corruption. A big developer takes public money, over the objection of much of the affected community, to build something we didn't need which will have many noxious effects on the community (traffic, pollution, noise, etc.), Promised benefits (jobs, affordable housing) disappear from the discussion as soon as its approved. Which poltiician is trying to get Forrest City Ratner to repay the public for the missing benefits? When did capitalism become I'll risk your money for my gain?
Lucy March 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Clever to pre-rust it. It looks obsolete from the moment it is built. The design is much like that of big suburban garages. The project will go down in history as a major urban blunder created by a developer who benefited from his close ties to powerful politicians. The developer has blighted what was once a beautiful urban landscape with his many ugly buildings.
babs March 10, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I want to cry every time I pass by there. It is a hideous carbuncle on Brooklyn's gorgeous face. Not only is it physically hideously ugly, the story of how taxpayers will be ripped off for years and how rent-stabilized tenants with no money and nowhere else to go were driven out of their homes will haunt this site for ever.
Steve March 10, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Call it Marty Markowitz's blight on Brooklyn. It will last longer than any other part of his "legacy."
Haydee March 10, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Right now it is more than an eyesore. It is frightening! The other night the cab was driving on Flatbush, which I usually ask them to avoid, when I suddenly looked up and felt as if I had been dropped in sci-fi horror movie. A monstrous space invader was looming ahead.
Anthony March 11, 2012 at 09:06 AM
Is this the best poll question you can come up with?
Jenny March 11, 2012 at 03:25 PM
seems like it was a pretty good question, since a lot of people were interested in it.
jill March 11, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I like the way it looks when the F train comes outside between 4th Ave & smith & 9th.
Phyllis March 12, 2012 at 01:47 AM
A lifelong Brooklynite, I do everything I can to NEVER be in the area of the monstrosity. We used to shop and go to restaurants in all of the neighborhoods in brownstone Brooklyn Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, etc. But now, the enormous, out-of- scale eyesore is unbearable and so we basically stay as far away as possible from Flatbush Avenue. It is a tragedy for this area of Brooklyn...and the games have not even begun. Once they do, the chaos, traffic and congestion will have everyone saying, "How did this ever get approved?" Well, there are those of us who knew from day one that this was a monumental mistake...a terrible place to put such a venue. We tried for 7 years, but the Brooklyn machine, in collusion with state and corporate partners, pushed this massive project through, not caring a bit about the neighborhoods that would be horribly impacted. We tried to warn of the dangers. Now, it's becoming clear what a disaster it really is. And, it will only get worse.
Cathy March 12, 2012 at 07:45 PM
The architecturally and culturally significant Ward's Bakery had to fall for this! A testimony to the corruption of the New York City Landmark Commission, and another blow by Bloomberg in his quest to outdo Robert Moses in the destruction of our once beautiful city!
Antonio March 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM
It looks forced into a landscape that it doesn't belong in. Just like that lame mall across the street from it.
peter s. March 13, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Everything about it is the very definition of ugly. The political corruption, the negative impact on the community, the lies & deception, the misuse of Eminent Domain, etc etc. No amount of cosmetics will ever conceal the blight this project has reaped on this part of Brooklyn.
deekay March 16, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Take a close look at where the "skin" meets the glass next time you walk or drive by; someone please tell me how they will properly clean the surface in and under those areas. They'll give up on cleaning the exterior, and the contrast between shiny and rusty (a bad idea to begin with) will just look DIRTY. Plus, it looks like they're using incredibly thin and warped glass to begin with, with reads CHEAP. What a travesty.
Holloway April 25, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Truly spoken(written), y'all. It is horribly monstrous in design and appearance! Ugh.. Common sense dictates, it had to be large but could they have gone upwards, expanded vertically instead of bulging horizontally. Could they have gone with a more compatible color choice, modern yes but one that would cause us to overlook the design flaws? Like a bully, this in-your-face eyesore lurches outwards creates claustrophobia by diminishing the space for businesses and pedestrians on the other side of Atlantic Ave.
Gregory May 08, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Nothing like the Gehry designed that was shown to win us over. It looks Ike a rusted space shop. Totally not a welcoming sign for Brooklyn.
UCanNotBSerious July 13, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Here's a question: When did rust become a standard for excellence and beauty in architectural design? Look around our city. Gaze at the now classic design of older structures (the Chrysler Building; the Woolworth Building; the Guggenheim Museum) or the impressive "newer" designs (Lincoln Center; the Citicorp Building; the erstwhile Whitney Museum), right up to the nearly completed Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan. In each example you will see designs that draw the attention (in a positive way) and stimulate the spirit. From a purely artistic perspective these feats of architectural brilliance are gleaming masterpieces that have stood the test of time successfully because each one presents a fresh, visually exciting facade that is unmistakable and arresting to the eye. You will not find a patch of "pre-weathered steel" on any of the above mentioned landmarks because rusted metal (the correct phrase for what is girdling the Barclays Center) denotes age and neglect and corrosion and possible imminent collapse. Rust does not signal "new" or "fresh" but rather "used" and "abandoned", attributes that would tend to repel instead of attract especially in a building that serves as a sports venue where large groups of people are expected to gather. Quite plainly, from a visual standpoint the Barclays Center is a gross artistic blunder that must be relieved of its misapplied belts of rust and refitted with a more appealing, attractive facade.
Jordan Fulgoni September 11, 2012 at 05:17 PM
It is so hideous.
Greg Black September 16, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Hell yeah, it is ugly as hell why would they make it look like that especially in NYC, not a good look.
Black Jack Johnson September 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Ugly is not even strong enough to describe how bad it looks. Clearly this was about saving money over the long term on exterior maintenance as opposed to aesthetics.
Carl Powlett September 17, 2012 at 01:52 AM
"...each one presents a fresh, visually exciting facade that is unmistakable and arresting to the eye." This seems an apt description of the Barclay Center.
Bee September 17, 2012 at 07:09 PM
The word ugly is euphemistic. I think the words, criminal, hideous and outrageously disgusting are more apt. It's a travesty that our tax dollars subsidize this affront to Brooklyn.
bw September 27, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I agree, mostly. Perhaps they can paint it a finished, gray-metalic-blue? That could help the apperance i think. But never will the problems of extreme traffic and eye sore non-the less be solved. But a new exterior may save the people some depression symptoms.


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